Nunavut mine says it’s not allowed to harm Inuit harvesting – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – February 17, 2021)

In the wake of last week’s blockade, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation says it has heard the call to slow down plans to expand production at the Mary River mine.

“It’s unfortunate that they felt they had to go to those extremes to be heard,” said Udloriak Hanson, Baffinland’s vice-president of community and sustainable development, about the protesters who blockaded the mine’s airstrip and trucking road for a week.

Baffinland wants to double the mine’s output from six to 12 million tonnes of iron ore by building a railway and increasing shipping through a narwhal habitat. The protesters say that would damage the environment, and affect their harvesting rights.

Hanson told CBC News this week that the land claim will protect communities from that kind of damage.

“The scenarios that have been put out there, such as, we’re going to lose our culture, or we’re going to lose our harvesting ability, our harvesting rights, the company, first of all, would not want to ever have it come to that point, but it wouldn’t be allowed,” she said. “There are so many checks and balances along the way that would close and stop our operations to ensure that does not happen.”

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